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Giving Back | Pro Bono at Bodman

Pay It Forward

Pro Bono Contacts

Celeste E. Arduino
Chair, Pro Bono Committee

Justin P. Bagdady
Melissa K. Bridges
Jamie Hochman Herz
Michael J. Jameson
Tyler D. Schofield
Erica J. Shell
Samantha Van Sumeren



Bodman summer associates always participate in the firm’s Pro Bono program, which gives students hands-on client experience and allows them to have a direct impact in the community and the lives of those who have little or no access to legal services.



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Over the last five years, Bodman’s attorneys have contributed more than 26,000 hours of pro bono work!



— Mary McLaren Honsel, Executive Director, Crossroads of Michigan



ProsperUS Detroit

Pro bono is ingrained into Bodman’s culture, beginning with our summer associates and carrying through to our most senior lawyers.

The firm encourages and supports pro bono work through its policies, its long-standing Pro Bono Committee, and its employment of a full-time Pro Bono Counsel, who manages the firm’s pro bono program.  Our innovative and effective pro bono efforts make Bodman a model and leader for other firms in the state.  Most paramount, our efforts have a direct impact in our communities and in the lives of those with little or no access to legal services.

Ensuring Access to Justice

We provide substantial, free services to homeless and low-income residents who may otherwise have no access to legal services.

  • Bodman works with legal service organizations across the state to provide pro bono assistance on expungements, driver’s license restorations, property disputes, estate planning, and name changes, to name a few of our projects.
  • The firm is also a long-time partner of Street Outreach Court Detroit (“SOCD”), a specialty court of the 36th Judicial District Court that provides a fresh start to homeless residents. Bodman provides free civil legal services to all graduates of the SOCD program.
  • Before the pandemic, we helped form and operate two Detroit-based legal clinics at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and Crossroads of Michigan. We hope to work again with these clinics and their guests when circumstances permit.

Economic Growth and Community Development Efforts

Bodman’s transactional attorneys work closely with both community non-profits and low-income entrepreneurs, with the goal of promoting economic growth in our communities and among their residents.

  • We work closely with Michigan Community Resources (“MCR”) to serve non-profits in need of sophisticated transactional legal services.  Bodman has  three times been named MCR’s Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year.
  • We partner with ProsperUS Detroit in its mission to revitalize neighborhoods by concentrating micro-enterprise development in low-income immigrant and minority neighborhoods. Our attorneys provide free, high-quality legal services to many of ProsperUS’ entrepreneur clients and their small businesses that would otherwise not be able to afford legal assistance. We are proud that ProsperUS Detroit named Bodman its Service Provider of the Year in 2017.

Enforcing Civil Rights

Bodman has also assisted civil rights organizations by investigating and fighting against large-scale injustices.

  • Bodman attorneys have worked as election hotline volunteers and poll workers for the presidential primary and presidential election of 2020 as part of an effort to protect voting rights with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law Election Protection Project.
  • We assisted the Civil Rights Clinic at MSU College of Law in representing prisoners challenging Covid-19 protocols within the Michigan Department of Corrections, and we represented several inmates in the Oakland County Jail who were requesting early release due to the coronavirus threat.
  • Several Bodman attorneys are representing Michigan inmates in their requests for commutation of their sentences as part of Bodman’s Michigan Clemency Project; and
  • We continue the work of representing Michigan prisoners sentenced to life without parole for crimes committed as a juvenile in connection with the nationwide effort to obtain resentencing of such offenders pursuant to new U.S. Supreme Court mandates.

Pro Bono Honor Roll and Charitable Giving

Bodman attorneys and staff are recognized for their pro bono work  as well as their charitable giving.

  • 2020 State Bar of Michigan Pro Bono Honor Roll
  • 2020 State Bar of Michigan Access to Justice Campaign Leadership Law Firm
  • 2019 State Bar of Michigan Pro Bono Honor Roll
  • 2019 State Bar of Michigan Access to Justice Campaign Leadership Law Firm
  • 2018 State Bar of Michigan Access to Justice Campaign Champion Law Firm
  • 2017 State Bar of Michigan Circle of Excellence

Bodman is committed to supporting organizations, locally and throughout the country, that focus on human services, education, and culturally diverse areas of need. In addition to the hours of Pro Bono work donated by the firm annually, Bodman attorneys and staff have contributed their time and dollars by volunteering with and donating to the following  organizations during 2018 and 2019. We are proud to support organizations that continue to make a significant and positive impact in the communities where we live and work.

Charitable Giving at Bodman, 2018-2019

  • Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
  • Ann Arbor Symphony
  • Aspire Detroit
  • Butch Carpenter Scholarship Fund
  • Cass Community Social Services
  • Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan
  • Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota
  • Charlotte Mason Community School
  • Children’s Charities at Adios
  • Comerica Dallas Women’s Business Symposium
  • Congregation Beth Ahm
  • Crime Stoppers of Michigan
  • Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota
  • Flint Institute of Arts
  • Gleaners Community Food Bank
  • Grosse Pointe Little League
  • Grosse Pointe Park Foundation
  • Guest House
  • Junior Achievement
  • Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas



  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • JVS
  • Latino Law Students Association (Juan Luis Tienda Scholarship Fund)
  • Leslie Science and Nature Center
  • Life Directions
  • Lighthouse of Oakland County
  • March of Dimes
  • McLaren Macomb Foundation
  • Mercy High School
  • Michigan Women in Finance
  • Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Midtown Detroit
  • Pope Francis Center
  • Read to a Child
  • Sacred Heart Major Seminary
  • SOS Community Services
  • Southern Automotive Women’s Forum
  • The Grosse Pointe Academy
  • The Platform
  • University Liggett School
  • Wolverine Bar Foundation
  • Women Lawyers Association of Michigan



 Click here to see all recent pro bono awards.